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 user 2006-04-07 at 1:59:00 pm Views: 55
  • #15182

    HP criticized Rosenfeld’s administrative performance
    criticizes HP Israel managing director Gil Rosenfeld’s motives for
    seeking disclosure of the investigative report, claiming this will harm
    the company and its employees.

    06 In the latest developments in the Hewlett-Packard (Israel) grey
    market affair, Hewlett-Packard  last night submitted its response to
    the Tel Aviv Labor Court to HP Israel managing director Gil Rosenfeld’s
    request for disclosure of Hewlett-Packard’s report that is the basis
    for his firing. In its response, Hewlett-Packard criticizes Rosenfeld’s
    motives, and claims that meeting his request will harm the company and
    its employees.
    Hewlett-Packard states that Rosenfeld is not being
    accused of personal involvement in grey market sales, but that he bears
    personal responsibility as general manager of HP Israel.
    Hewlett-Packard nonetheless hints that its report criticizes
    Rosenfeld’s administrative performance, and the attitude towards
    Hewlett-Packard’s investigative team. The report states, “The
    investigative report does not only deal with ‘grey market’ matters, as
    depicted by Mr. Rosenfeld. It also deals with the administrative
    practices at HP Israel, the attitudes of the managerial echelon
    subordinate to him, and the obstacles put in the way of the activities
    of the investigative team that prepared the report.”
    As for the
    Rosenfeld’s request for disclosure, Hewlett-Packard writes,
    “Publication of the report will harm third parties, whose response to
    the request was not sought, and for which consent was not given in any
    Hewlett-Packard attacks Rosenfeld, saying, “Mr. Rosenfeld is
    so busy defending his reputation, that the reputation of others (those
    he supervised) and the company’s commercial secrets have little value
    as far as he is concerned.”
    Hewlett-Packard also claims that
    disclosure of the report will harm its commercial secrets and business.
    “Reading the report reveals that it is full of commercial secrets. A
    second thread throughout the report mentions the company’s operating
    methods, including marketing, auditing and administrative methods, and
    so forth. These operational methods are known to the public at large,
    and the company makes intense efforts to conceal them from its

    HP’s bad dream

    What’s behind the firings at HP Israel?
    after Hewlett-Packard (Israel) managing director Gil Rosenfeld got an
    e-mail from Hewlett-Packard  that he was about to be fired, he called
    his attorney, Adv. Tamar Golan, who is his mother-in-law. Golan, who is
    thought to know every loophole in Israel’s labor laws, needed little
    effort to find one. Hewlett-Packard, she said, did not give Rosenfeld
    any real chance to defend himself. Furthermore, his immediate severance
    from the company’s resources, such as his e-mailbox, was carried out
    even before the firing process was completed, violating the legal
    lay-off procedure.Golan had no doubt how to proceed against the men who
    came to carry out the computer giant’s verdict. The hearing for
    Rosenfeld was a macabre formality, with a ravenous media waiting
    outside, and gimlet-eyed combative lawyers inside.
    In retrospect, HP
    Europe’s emissaries didn’t have a chance. Golan ran a double strategy:
    she accused Hewlett-Packard of unfair and unreasonable firings on one
    hand, and of waging a crusade against HP Israel executives on the
    other. Things went so far, that HP VP and managing director
    Central-Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa Jan Zadak began to
    stutter when Golan hurled accusations at him, and threatened him with a
    private lawsuit for criminal libel, a rare event in the business world,
    doubly so when a respected company like Hewlett-Packard is involved.
    won the first round by knockout. On Monday evening, Tel Aviv Labor
    Court Judge Alia Fogel issued an injunction against firing Rosenfeld,
    and ordered Hewlett-Packard to and over Rosenfeld’s lawyers the full
    investigation report carried out in Israel within 24 hours. The mumbled
    excuses by HP Europe’s advisers that petition to the court and the
    delay in carrying out the firings would hurt the company failed to
    impress the judge.
    What really happened at HP Israel, and why did
    Hewlett-Packard react so aggressively? In recent months,
    Hewlett-Packard president and CEO Mark Hurd has fought hard against
    grey market sales that have hurt the company’s revenue.
    associates now claim that Hewlett-Packard decided to exploit minor
    infractions in order to teach a lesson to countries involved in
    creating a grey market. They claim that the company’s management
    decided to come down hard on HP Israel as a kind of “show and tell”.
    Other sources and observers claim, however, that HP Israel had huge
    sales on the grey market. Even if Rosenfeld was unaware and uninvolved
    in these sales, it was irregular, to put it mildly.
    Rosenfeld’s PR
    and legal blitzkrieg have rendered his actions a secondary issue. The
    main subject now under discussion is Rosenfeld’s reputation, and maybe,
    behind the scenes, the amount of compensation he will get. In any case,
    Rosenfeld, like any employee, deserves to be fired with dignity, and
    not be judged in the public square.
    Another aspect of this story is
    the bad blood between HP Israel’s current managing director and his
    predecessor, Ehud (Udi) Graff. Rosenfeld hinted that when Graf headed
    HP Israel, the company was involved in large-scale grey market sales,
    and that Graf tried “to frame him”. Graff has chosen to stay silent for
    now, but there are allegations that the entire investigation only
    covered the last two years – Rosenfeld’s tenure – so Rosenfeld’s
    accusation of Graff is ridiculous.
    The Rosenfeld affair, as it has
    been handled until now, is a milestone in relations between Israeli
    subsidiaries and their international parent companies.
    Hewlett-Packard’s actions were incorrect from the outset. Its attitude
    towards local labor laws, the Israeli media and customers, and HP
    Israel’s employees was horrendous. The messy affair arising from
    uncomplicated firings could have been avoided.
    It is quite possible,
    however, that the real scandal at Hewlett-Packard isn’t HP Israel, but
    is far from these shores. The investigation into the grey market was
    handled by agents from Hewlett-Packard’s US headquarters. Headquarters
    sent emissaries from Europe to carry out the verdict in Israel, but
    they have no authority to settle the matter.
    apparently has a much greater problem at HP Europe, and it’s possible
    that the HP Israel executives are only the first heads to roll at
    Hewlett-Packard’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) activities. It
    should be borne in mind that the Israeli managers were only at the end
    of the food chain. There are more senior Hewlett-Packard executives in
    Europe who benefited and may have deliberately turned a blind eye.
    There have been rumors in the past few days that other Hewlett-Packard
    EMEA branches are involved in similar cases, such as Dubai and South
    What will happen now? The Tel Aviv Labor Court has ordered
    Hewlett-Packard to hand over the investigation report to Rosenfeld’s
    representatives by last night, and then to give Rosenfeld three working
    days to prepare his defense. The next stop will be a hearing on Monday.
    the meantime, HP Europe has appointed its regional HP managing director
    international sales Europe Ken Willett as operational manager at HP
    Israel. Willlett is Zadak’s deputy, and he will manage operations in
    Israel until Hewlett-Packard decides on its next moves.
    will have to respond fast in order to calm its Israeli customers. HP
    Israel’s large customers include Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) as
    well as government ministries, and competition for these customers is
    vicious. In the summer of 2004, when heads rolled at Cisco Systems
    (Israel), its competitors cheered. A management vacuum at HP Israel
    will be reflected in changeable decisions that could quickly result in
    sales flight to other large comapanies.
    Although most Israeli
    customers don’t have direct contact with HP Israel’s senior management,
    they will do the math and understand that the prices currently offered
    by HP in Israel are likely to rise over time. The sales managers named
    by HP’s European office won’t be open to discounting prices for Israeli
    customers and — given the grey market situation — there’s a good
    chance prices will go up.
    On the face of it, it does not seem that
    Rosenfeld will return to work at HP Israel. Although he told
    journalists that he wants to wake up from a “bad dream” and go “home”,
    the parties will probably now wage a war of attrition that will end in
    an honorable resignation. As things appear now, Hewlett-Packard wants
    the affair to end, and quickly.